A commitment to ensuring women and girls remain safe while they enjoy a night out in Medway has seen officers visit Rochester as part of a pre-planned operation.

Patrols from Medway’s Community Safety Unit spent time in the town during the evening of Friday 28 and Saturday 29 July 2023.

This work is part of Kent Police’s ongoing efforts to tackle violence against women and girls. Statistically, reports of rape and sexual assaults peak during the summer months, in the late evening and early hours.

Whilst there are no specific concerns in Rochester, the city does have a vibrant nightlife with a heavy footfall.

During the past weekend (Friday 28 and Saturday 29 July) plain clothed officers and uniformed officers spent time in the town to ensure those in the area were kept safe.

They arrested two men, stopped and searched eight people and intervened in various situations 14 times, which included ensuring several women got home safely after they were seen being approached by men not known to them.

One man was spoken to and his car searched after he was seen approaching a drunk woman after she had left a club in the High Street. He was seen by plain clothed officers persistently trying to get the women to go home with him, before he followed her to a taxi rank and continued in his efforts. Officers stepped in to keep the woman safe and his details were taken.

Another man was also spoken to after he was seen driving around the area before he left his vehicle and sat on a bench outside a bar, attempting to talk to various women, officers stopped him and challenged his behaviour and his details were taken.

During the evening officers also found a drunk woman laying on the pavement in the High Street. She had lost her phone and her friend so police assisted her and reunited her with her friend before they gave both women a lift home.

A 13-year-old boy was also seen walking in the High Street at midnight. Officers spoke to him and found out he was attempting to walk to a family address some distance away so police gave him a lift to ensure his safety.

During the operation one man was stopped after he was seen driving in and around the area. He was searched and officers found him in possession of 60 bags of cocaine and £1,000 in cash. He was arrested and has since been bailed pending further enquiries.

Another man was arrested for an outstanding domestic offence after officers saw him on a bench where he appeared to be acting suspiciously and watching drunk people in the park.

Detective Superintendent Elly Maggs, of Kent Police’s North Division, said: ‘Rochester is a popular location for people to enjoy the night-time economy due to its mix of bars, restaurants and clubs and while we will always respond to reports of crime, it is also important to be proactive and carry out work to prevent it.

‘Kent Police is committed to tackling this issue and this ongoing work is just one way the force is continuing in its efforts to ensure those enjoying a night out can do so safely.

‘We will continue to work with Medway Council, security firms, and the Safer Medway Partnership along with Street Pastors to ensure a visible presence, friendly support and robust enforcement where necessary.

‘No one should expect to be a victim of crime and we want people to have fun without worrying about their personal safety.

‘The unsettling reality is that anyone walking home alone after a night out can be vulnerable – whether you are a man or a woman. Our job is to do everything we can to keep communities safe and that includes preventive work like this.’

Both uniformed and plain-clothed officers will therefore be out in the city every Friday and Saturday night over the summer, helping keep people safe and making sure offenders are arrested and put before the courts.

Anyone who suspects a crime has taken place should report it straight away, online or by calling 999 in an emergency.

Kent Police is focusing on tackling violent crime as part of the force’s ongoing Safer Summer initiative. Anybody who wishes to report incidents should report it online via the Kent Police website. Click here for more information about Safer Summer.

Click here for further information, advice and support relating to violence against women and girls. This page also includes details on how Kent Police is tackling offences including domestic abuse, stalking, harassment and other forms of violence.

If you have been a victim of violence and wish to report an offence, click here.

By Ed

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